Accident Bell 205A-1 N58126,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 30797
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Date:Saturday 2 January 1999
Time:22:15 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic UH1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Bell 205A-1
Owner/operator:City Of Los Angeles
Registration: N58126
MSN: 30136
Year of manufacture:1973
Total airframe hrs:6361 hours
Engine model:Lycoming T53-13B
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Van Nuys, California -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Van Nuys, CA (KVNY)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
During a night training flight over mountainous terrain the pilot heard a loud 'clunking' sound, which was accompanied by vibrations. The engine then emitted a loud grinding, metallic grating sound. Simultaneously, warning lights, engine chip lights, and the rpm decay light became illuminated. The pilot lowered the collective and entered an autorotation but did not have sufficient airspeed and altitude to reach a dirt road, so he turned down a canyon and performed a hard flare and near-vertical descent with little forward speed. The helicopter landed hard and came to rest on rough uneven terrain surrounded by trees and high vegetation. Postaccident examination revealed that the engine power turbine as viewed from the exhaust exhibited damage. The number 4 turbine wheel was missing all of its blades and the blades on the number 3 turbine wheel were damaged. Scoring was evidenced on the inside diameter of the turbine case in the area of the Nos. 3 and 4 turbine wheels. All the vanes and inner and outer supports of the second stage power turbine nozzle were displaced and/or missing, and fragments of the outer vane support were torn and distorted. The third stage turbine nozzle exhibited extensive damage on the trailing edges of the vanes and on the shroud/outer housing. Metallurgical examination of the turbine components disclosed features indicative of overload fractures without evidence of material defects or fatigue. The metallurgist concluded that the overall type and degree of engine damage was indicative of a component failure in the second stage power turbine nozzle area; however, the cause of the component failure was not determined.

Probable Cause: A loss of engine power due to an undetermined component failure in the second stage power turbine nozzle area. Factors in the accident were the mountainous/hilly nature of the terrain and the dark night lighting conditions which precluded the pilot from selecting a suitable forced landing area.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: LAX99TA066
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 11 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
29-Jan-2012 19:36 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
25-Nov-2017 12:48 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Cn, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
14-Dec-2017 16:55 ASN Update Bot Updated [Cn, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
08-Apr-2024 11:09 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Source, Narrative, Category, Accident report]

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